For school outreach session on the website




The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA): Getting to Know the Enemy

An Interaction withDr. Jean Claude Zenklusen (Director, TCGA)

Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Time: 10.30 am – 12 noon

Venue: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune 

(G1 Block Undergraduate Biology Laboratory)

Session is Open to Age Groups: 13-15 years 

About the Speaker

Dr. Jean C. Zenklusen, Lic.Chem., Ph.D

Director, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) 

Center for Cancer Genomics Programs Office

Office of the Director, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health


Dr. Jean Claude Zenklusen was born 1964 in Visp, Switzerland. He earned a Master in Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Buenos Aires in 1990. He received his PhD in Cancer Biology & Genetics from The University of Texas, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, in 1995. In 1996, he took a post-doctoral position at the National Genome Research Institute where, while participating in the Human Genome Project, he cloned two novel Tumor Suppressor Genes. From 2003 until 2009, he was the Senior Staff Scientist at the Neuro-Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute directing the Glioma Molecular Diagnostic Initiative and its companion data portal, Rembrandt. From 2009 until 2013, he served as the Scientific Program Director of the Office of cancer Genomics, where he oversaw a variety of large-scale projects. In August 2013 he was named as Director of The Cancer Genome Atlas, the largest-scale cancer genomics project to date.

Dr. Zenklusen is leading a team of eminent TCGA experts to the 1st TCGA themed conference and workshop in India titled " Multi-omics Studies in Cancer: Lessons from TCGA" at IISER Pune on September 21-25, 2019. This event is co-organised by Centre for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR ; a joint initiative between IISER Pune and Prashanti Cancer Care Mission) , Persistent Systems and TCGA.

Conference website

Session Details

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA, is landmark cancer genomics collaboration between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) that has generated comprehensive, multi-dimensional maps of the key genomic changes in cancer. In the past decade, many major discoveries in cancer have been attributed to this publicly available database. By improving the ability to diagnose, treat, and prevent various cancers, TCGA has been the driving force behind the beginning of Precision Oncology and Personalized Medicine era. 

In this session, Dr. Zenklusen will discuss important themes related to DNA, cancer biology, multi-omics research and the TCGA project with the students. After this, an interactive question-and-answer session will follow in which students can ask questions and seek clarifications from Dr. Zenklusen on topics related to his talk. 

In addition, Dr. Zenklusen will conduct a hands-on practical training session in which students will perform experiment to learn about extracting DNA from biological materials (e.g., a local fruit). 

Only 60 school kids will be selected for this event. A certificate of attendance will be provided.